NTC extends Filipino telco permits until 31 December, cites lockdown restrictions

3 Aug 2020

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of the Philippines issued a memorandum on 29 July 2020 formally extending all existing permits, certificates and licences of telecom services providers and broadcasters until 31 December 2020, citing the many ‘mobility limitation issues in many regions around the country’ due to lockdown restrictions.

The regulator’s statement confirmed: ‘All existing certificates, permits and licences, to operate radio communications equipment, networks and facilities, public (telecom), broadcast, government or private, in various radio services, expiring in the current year shall remain valid and may be renewed on or before the last working day of December 2020 without penalties or surcharges.’ It added, however, that thereafter ‘appropriate penalties or surcharges shall be imposed’. It invited telcos/broadcasters to apply for necessary renewals and/or licences at the NTC Central Office.

Commenting on the NTC’s pragmatic decision, PLDT Chief Revenue Officer and Smart President and CEO Alfred Panlilio said: ‘We appreciate this assistance provided by Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and the NTC in dealing with these difficulties created by the pandemic … Hand-in-hand with the government, we will be able to surmount the challenges presented by COVID-19 and continue improving communications services for Filipinos nationwide.’